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The IMA Annual Luncheon will be in-person with the popular Breakout Education Sessions held virtually each day of the week. The Annual Luncheon features keynote remarks and celebration of the Manufacturer of the Year and Member Milestone Anniversary Awards!


Eugene D. Seroka

Executive Director, Port of Los Angeles

Gene Seroka is the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest container port in North America. Nominated by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on May 27, 2014 and confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council on June 11, 2014, the Port of Los Angeles has experienced historic, record-breaking performances since his appointment.
As Executive Director, Seroka interacts with a wide range of stakeholders, including Port customers around the globe, industry partners, elected and appointed officials at all levels, business leaders and local residents. A respected global trade expert, Seroka has advocated for rules-based trade agreements that benefit American exporters and manufacturers.
Since the pandemic-induced buying surge generated by American consumers in the second half of 2020, the Port of Los Angeles has eclipsed nine monthly records and had its two highest-performing quarters and top four individual months in its 114-year history. The Port set two new milestones for the Western Hemisphere in June 2021 as the first port to process 10 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in a 12-month period and the first port to process 1 million TEUs in a single month.
Seroka has distinguished himself as a leader throughout his 33-year career in shipping, global logistics and executive management. The Containerization & Intermodal Institute (CII) named Seroka the 2021 recipient of the Connie Award, one the most coveted honors in the maritime industry. Also in 2021, Lloyd’s List named him as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Shipping and the Inland Empire Economic Partnership honored Seroka with its Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing decades of leadership and accomplishments in the supply chain, logistics and maritime industry. In 2020, Supply Chain Dive named Seroka Executive of the Year for his leadership throughout the pandemic. Seroka has been named one of the most influential people in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal and featured on the LA500 list for the six past years.
As chief of America’s top port, he is responsible for managing a more than $1.7 billion budget, advancing major capital projects, growing trade volumes and promoting innovative, sustainable practices that strengthen the region’s economy. Under his direction, the Port has taken a leadership role in adopting cutting-edge technologies to improve the reliability, predictability and efficiency of the flow of cargo across global seaborne trade, including the launch of the digital information portal Port Optimizer™ and companion data tools Signal, Return Signal, Control Tower and Horizon.
Throughout the pandemic, Seroka—who lived in China during the 2002-2004 SARS epidemic—has led the Port’s response to the global health crisis, keeping cargo flowing as an essential service to the nation. In March 2020, Mayor Garcetti named Seroka the Chief Logistics Officer for the City of Los Angeles, while concurrently serving as the Port’s Executive Director. Seroka also leads Logistics Victory Los Angeles (LoVLA), which has distributed more than 10.2 million units of personal protective equipment (PPE) to nearly 250 organizations since its inception.
While serving as Executive Director, Seroka has been appointed to serve on four federal committees to enhance the speed and efficiency of cargo movement and supply chain optimization, including the U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness, U.S. Maritime Administration Marine Transportation System National Advisory Committee, Federal Maritime Commission Supply Chain Innovation Team and U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation’s former Port Performance Freight Statistics Working Group. The past president of the California Association of Port Authorities, he currently serves on its Board of Directors. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Port Authorities and Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority.
Seroka’s footing in the maritime industry was established as a sales support representative at American President Lines (APL) Limited’s Cincinnati office in 1988. After several key overseas positions in China, Indonesia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, he returned to the U.S. in 2010 to become President – Americas for the shipping line in Phoenix where he managed APL’s Liner Shipping business, including 1,000 employees, and was responsible for all commercial, port terminal, intermodal, land transportation and labor activities throughout the region.
Seroka holds an MBA and Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of New Orleans.


The Will Group

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association is proud to announce The Will Group’s selection as the recipient of the 2022 Barry L. MacLean Manufacturer of the Year that will be awarded at the IMA’s Annual Luncheon on December 2, 2022.

“I’m thrilled to honor The Will Group as the 2022 Manufacturer of the Year in Illinois for their amazing leadership in developing the next generation workforce for manufacturing and aerospace while investing in underserved areas that need economic development,” said Mark Denzler, president & CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “’Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way,’ is the company’s philosophy and they are empowering success by investing in their workforce and changing neighborhoods. This wonderful family-owned company is also honoring the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen by transforming the lives of at-risk youth with aviation career education and career path opportunities.”

The IMA’s annual award recognizes a company for their leadership in six core areas:

  • Manufacturing Advocacy: Serves as a strong voice for the manufacturing industry at the local, state, or national level.
  • Operational Excellence: Creates a profound and lasting impact on stakeholders, companies, markets, and suppliers within the manufacturing sector with a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Innovation & Technology: Committed to innovation, Research & Development, transformative product development, or technological advances.
  • Workforce Development & Diversity: Focused on building the next generation of leaders through support of education and workforce development programs.
  • Community Engagement: Demonstrates long-term commitment to local community, charitable, and philanthropic efforts.
  • Sustainability: Supports sustainable methods of production and elimination of non-value added activities from operations.

“What an incredible honor. This award would not be possible without my team who have made this milestone a reality,” said Stephen L. Davis, Founder and Chairman of the The Will Group. “As a company, our top priority is providing jobs to local residents. We believe that creating manufacturing jobs with good pay, good benefits, and good working conditions is the key to growing the global middle class and aggregate demand that is needed to power the economy. By creating this social capital, the community begins to change, it creates an ecosystem in which we can be proud. These manufacturing jobs are not only a driver of economic growth—they are also the vehicle through which economic growth is broadly shared to raise living standards city-wide.”


10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Registration

10:30 AM – 11:45 AM: Networking Reception and Exhibits

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Lunch Program

Virtual Breakout Session #1: The Future of Energy & Marketing Uncertainty

Tuesday November 29 10:00 AM

The continued transition to clean energy, changes in energy markets and global events are creating major issues for cost and reliability.

Virtual Breakout Session #2: Economic Outlook

Wednesday November 30 10:00 AM

Inflation. Supply chains. Interest rates. Global unrest. The world’s economy is changing – when it is challenging to predict next week, what is reasonable to expect in 2023

Virtual Breakout Session #3: Creating a High Energy Culture that Builds Your Workforce

Thursday December 1 10:00 AM

What makes a company’s culture meaningful? When authentic, an organizational culture is a powerful force in retaining your employees and is sought out by future talent. Join us for this look at creative ideas to building an effective and memorable culture – from the Board Room to the Shop Floor.

Cancellations must be received in writing by November 22, 2022.  Refunds will not be made after November 22, 2022.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Event Sponsor – $25,000

Includes premier seating and registration for two tables of 10

Program Sponsor – $17,500 

Includes registration for two tables of 10

Lunch Sponsor – $12,500

Includes registration for one table of 10

Networking Reception Sponsor – $5,000

Includes registration for one table of 10

Gold Sponsor – $3,000

Includes registration for one table of 10

Table Sponsor – $1,750

Includes registration for one table of 10

Sponsorships must be confirmed by November 16 to be recognized in all promotional materials please

Sponsor Info

Thank you to the following sponsors for their generous support of the 2022 IMA Annual Luncheon.